Australian Immigration Program Important Updates for 2021-22 Program Year
Following the Australian Budget Paper announced on 11 May 2021, some critical updates were added to the Australian Immigration program. The Australian Government put more than $2 billion in investment to bolster its national security, improve community safety and further streamline its migration systems to secure Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government also emphasized that the 2021-22 budget focuses on ensuring their citizens, borders and economic safety.
What are the updates for the Australian Immigration program?
2021-22 Budget for Australian Immigration Program
The Australian Government announced the Immigration Program ceiling would be maintained at 160,000 places to facilitate Australia’s economic recovery. The places are divided as follow:
1. 79,600 places for Skilled Migration Program
Around 50% of the program will be dedicated to skilled visas. The Australian Government will prioritise the highly skilled migrants in the employer-sponsored, Business Innovation and Investor Program and Global Talent visa cohorts, especially the onshore applicants.
2. 77,300 places for Family Migration Program
Compared to last year’s budget, the Family Migration Program in 2021-22 will not change much. The Australian Government will stay on 77,300 places for the Family Migration Program and with a continued focus on onshore applicants to reduce the onshore Partner visa pipeline.
3. 13,750 places for Humanitarian Program
To ensure Australia remains one of the most generous humanitarian resettlement countries globally, the Australian Government also allocates 13,750 places for the Humanitarian Program. This program includes Protection visa, Refugee visa, Temporary Protection visa, Safe Haven Enterprise visa and Global Special Humanitarian visa.
Other Important Updates for Australian Migration Program
Besides allocating 70,000+ places for the Family and Skilled Migration Program, the Australian Government also planned to apply new regulations to support Australia’s economic recovery and to maintain the migrants’ satisfaction.
1. Flexibility for International Students to Work Beyond 40 Hour per Fortnight
In response to the suffering that the hospitality and tourism sector face since the early pandemic, The Australian Government announced to increase flexibility for Student Visa holders to work beyond the 40 hours/fortnight working time limit. It is only applicable for International students who work in the hospitality and tourism and other critical sectors.
2. Validity Extension Period for Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Visa
For the Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Visa holders who cannot enter Australia due to the travel restriction will be given an extension of the validity period. The visa validity period will be extended to 18 months.
3. Enhancing Tribunal and Protection for Migrant Worker
The Australian Government will also enhance the migration litigation and merits review by allocating additional funding and providing an additional judge in the Federal Circuit Court in 2021-22 and a second judge in 2022-23.
Additionally, in response to the recommendations of the Report of the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce, the Australian Government will strengthen the protection over migrant workers.
4. Strengthening Protection for Migrant Women
The Government is providing funding of $29.3 million due to the increased demand for domestic and family violence (DFV) services among migrant women during the pandemic. The budget is used to support the refugee women and other migrant women’s safety, social and economic inclusion. Additionally, the Australian Government will establish a new visa support and coordination functions visa, a dedicated DFV support team to protect the refugee and other migrant women.
How the Budget will Affect Your Visa Application?
Looking at the 2021-22 budget for the Australian immigration program, if you are an onshore skilled and family visa applicant, the budget plan will give you a lot of advantages. Firstly, your application may be prioritised, especially if you work in the Australian critical sectors. Additionally, the onshore family visa application pipeline will be reduced which may give you to a higher chance of getting a family visa.
While for the offshore visa applicants, do not lose your hope! It might seem the onshore applicants are getting the better of the advantages, however, everything in the next program year for migration does depend on various factors including a safe quarantine program which can accommodate more returning international arrivals, and hopefully, it won’t be too long for you to be able to enter Australia.
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